Monday, November 8, 2010

Big decision - aftermath

Before this weekend even happened, I had scheduled a therapy session for myself. I knew that if I was going to continue to effectively parent children with the level of behaviors our foster daughters have, I was going to need all the support I could get!

Then, when everything blew up, it just made sense to go ahead and keep the appointment. I'm wrestling with a huge amount of guilt and I really need to stop calling my husband (who is out of state with work right now) and my sister (who also lives out of state) every 15 minutes. A little personal conversation seemed necessary.

So, I went to a lovely church office and sat down across from an very nice doctor who came highly recommended. He cut to the chase right after getting all the "confidentiality" stuff out of the way. (Obviously I'm not too worried about that. LOL)

I spelled everything out pretty quickly. He seemed to think, without passing judgment of any kind, that I need to "reframe" this experience. He took out a piece of paper and had me write on it.

In the left corner I wrote:
1% - 45%

In the right corner I wrote:
50% - 100%

He then had me write down five questions.
  1. Is it possible or probable that TurtleTurtle and MissArguePants would not be able to receive the therapeutic intervention necessary in our home environment?
  2. Is it possible or probable that setting and establishing boundaries, limitations and consequences in children's lives is the most loving action one can take, often referred to as "tough love"?
  3. Is it possible or probable that "tough love" is labeled such because doing the most compassionate thing can be painful?
  4. Is it possible or probable that many times the most responsible, loving, and effective action one can take is "tough love"?
  5. Is it possible or probable that TurtleTurtle and MissArguePants will one day receive the help that they need in a more therapeutic environment?

Good stuff to think about. And for what it's worth, I answered all questions as "probable". I teetered with questions #1 and #5. But if I'm honest, I have to answer "probable".

As I was leaving, the therapist looked me in the eye and said that he's a father to three and a grandfather to eight. He then said that I did the right thing.

I wasn't looking for validation at counseling. But so far, the aftermath of this hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. I woke up this morning with the praise song from yesterday stuck in my head again. "He makes all things work together for my good." This was encouraging. Yesterday when I heard it, I wasn't sure what we were going to do. Today, the decision had been made.

I don't feel "good" about it. I never will. Children shouldn't have to end up in foster care to begin with.

But our family will heal. And He will make all things work together for my good.


MamaFoster said...

amen, sister.

marythemom said...

I think you made the right decision for your family and the girls. Good job!

Hugs and prayers,
Mary in TX